Tag Archives: hate

Authors Answer 98 – Why Did We Have to Read That in School?

Last week, we talked about books we enjoyed reading in school. Now, we’re going to talk about those that we didn’t like. For many people, reading books in school was far from fun. We had to interpret the books in ways that we never imagined, and it just made it less enjoyable.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 98 – What book did you read in school that you didn’t really like?

Cyrus Keith

You know you’re asking me to remember something I probably stuffed into a mental trash can almost forty years ago, right? There were a couple we started on, that I couldn’t even get through the first chapter without my eyes bleeding. They were long, winding, literary classics of some kind, and I was bored to tears from the opening lines.

C E Aylett

I don’t really remember, to be honest. I didn’t get on well at school and couldn’t wait to leave. At home I was always pinching my mum’s books from the shelves — mostly because I was told I was too young to read them — but they were a mixture of horror or icky romance. I remember I never got around to finishing Stephen King’s IT as she found it under my pillow and banished it to wherever (I never saw it again — even now!). Didn’t matter; it was rather over my head at the time anyway. My literary influences definitely came from my mum reading all the time and not much to do with school.

Beth Aman

The Grapes of Wrath.  It was my worst nightmare.  Four hundred pages of sadness and depression and dusty roads and hungry children and hard-to-read dialogue.  The end was also super sad.  So yeah.  Not my cup of tea.

Linda G. Hill

My first thought was anything by Shakespeare. But that was me when I was a teenager. Now, as well as then, I’d have to say “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Mainly because we went so far into it that I got sick of it.

H. Anthe Davis

It’s been a while since high school, so any book I really hated has long since been washed from my mind.  I’ve been diligent at trying to add every book I’ve ever read into my Goodreads account, and the lowest star-rating on my Classics list is a 3…so not bad, just not my cup of tea.  I was basically an English class nerd my whole HS career though, and there really haven’t been many books I hate; I think I’ve always gleaned at least a bit of insight or style from them, so the experience was always educational if nothing else.  I guess if I had to pick one from my 3-star list, it would be The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, just because….ehhhhh.

Jean Davis

I didn’t like pretty much any assigned reading. Moby Dick, A Separate Peace, anything Shakespeare… Not that they were bad books, but picking them apart to tiny analytical points made the entire reading experience miserable. Even thirty years later, I still get a twinge even thinking of A Separate Peace.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

This wasn’t for school, specifically, but one of my teachers once suggested that I read “Little Women“, and she even loaned me her copy. She knew I loved reading (at this point in my life I’d devoured most of our local library), and she really thought I’d enjoy it. However, I ended up hating it. I didn’t even get through the whole thing because I found it quite possibly the most boring thing I’d ever read. Maybe now-a-days it would appeal to me a little more (though I doubt it), but at the time I just couldn’t handle a story that seemed to be about the everyday mundane life of a pack of sisters.

Gregory S. Close

Most memorably, I hated GRAPES OF WRATH when we were required to read it for class.  I started/stopped it several times with great drama, convinced that it was useless and irrelevant.  We were required to read a chapter and then write a brief summary of the chapter for homework (to show that we actually read it), and I took to  writing my own versions of the story instead of actually reading and summarizing it, as assigned.  (Incidentally, I got lots of great comments from Mrs. Lasky on my version of events, which unfolded like a cross between THE ROAD, MAD MAX and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, but she graded them appropriately as Fs).

And then, after all that, I finally read it before taking the final exam and realized that it was actually pretty good.

Eric Wood

I don’t recall disliking a book. There were, of course, some I didn’t understand too well (Shakespeare, The Iliad, etc… come to think of it, I have a hard time understanding them 20 years later).

Elizabeth Rhodes

Edith Wharton’s Summer. This is mostly fueled by my dislike of the protagonist Charity, but when reading it I had the impression that there was no meaningful conflict in the story. The reality is, there is certainly conflict but it doesn’t age well a century later because our social mores are so different.

D. T. Nova

Cold River was possibly the worst of several that were all too similar; there’s just nothing interesting to me about small groups of characters (or even worse, lone characters) being completely alone in mundane wilderness settings.

Paul B. Spence

Lord of the Flies.

Jay Dee Archer

Maybe I don’t remember the bad books very much, but there were a couple that bored me. The first is The Wars by Timothy Findley. It’s an award-winning Canadian novel, but I wasn’t particularly interested in a novel about World War I, sadness, and mourning. The other one I didn’t find very engaging was the coming of age novel Who Has Seen the Wind by Canadian author W. O. Mitchell. Is it bad that the two I didn’t like are Canadian? Now I feel bad about it.

How about you?

Thinking back to school, which books that you read for English class did you not like? Let us know in the comments below.

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Authors Answer 59 – Characters of the Dark Side

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has just opened to sold out audiences, and everyone loves the original trilogy’s villain, Darth Vader. But he is a favourite of many fans’. What about characters that are absolutely hated by readers? But what if those characters are hated by their creators?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 59 – Have you ever written a character so offensive that you hated or strongly disliked them?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Yessir! But don’t worry, she’s evolved. She’s the main character from the four-part YA-fantasy series I’m writing right now, but she (and the story itself) have changed a massive amount since I first started writing it. Originally I started writing this particular story back in college, and I was using it as a form of cathartic therapy after my boyfriend of five years broke up with me. Because of a combination of little experience in professional story-writing and the wave of hormones that you can imagine would be sweeping through a 20-year-old who’d just been dumped, the story and the main character were just GOD AWFUL. My MC was basically the whiniest little brat you can imagine, who wouldn’t stop sobbing over the fact that the guy she’d loved had left her. My intention was for the character to grow and become strong and powerful and ultimately save an entire world, but my FOCUS was on making this character as pitiful as I felt. As a result, when I re-read what I’d written a few years later I almost threw up at how horrible it was. It was the kind of crap you actually see on bookshelves sometimes and think, “No wonder teenagers are idiots with crap like this to read.”

Jean Davis

Yes. In a novel I wrote called Swan Queen, there is an evil uncle, who I intended to make a good antagonist by being evil with the best intentions. However, he crossed over to extra evil when he jokes about molesting his niece and kills his son’s puppy. Not only did I hate him, readers hated him, which works I suppose, but I’ll have to revisit him once I iron out that stories whole plot and see if he needs that level of evil to be truly effective.

S. R. Carrillo

Oh, yeah. Variety is the spice of life, after all. I can’t love every single one of my characters because then that’d likely mean they were all one-dimensional – or, at the very least, too similar to one another. Think of all those characters you “love to hate” – the author had to have felt the same at one point or another.

Elizabeth Rhodes

Back in high school I would write role-plays with friends of mine and a character named Jenna surfaced.  She was a teenage drunk with a horrible personality who loved to pick on my friend’s gay male character.  I played her as a villain, and I hated her.  She was actually the result of personal issues I was struggling with at the time and a means for me to vent my anger toward substance abuse.  Looking back, I regret creating her.

Eric Wood

I have. His name was Johnny and he was an ignorant, abusive man. It was far from the genre of children’s lit that I was accustomed to writing in. I really despised this guy. But he got what was coming to him in the end. That’s the beauty of being the author.

H. Anthe Davis

So far in my entire series, I’ve only had one character whom I truly dislike.  Of course, since I wrote him, I’m the one who made him unlikable and reprehensible, so I can’t really say that I hate him — more that he’s serving his purpose in the story.  Everyone is supposed to hate him.  It’s also my job to humanize him, and to understand how and why he took such a wrong turn in his life; I don’t like writing flat villains, and unlike the readers I can see how he could have turned out better.  So really, there’s only distaste and pity and my plans for his demise.

Allen Tiffany

Great question. This is much harder than it sounds, it seems to me. To really make a dislikable character that is not a caricature is tough. But yes, I’ve create a few that I have not liked. I did so by thinking about the people in my life that I most disliked. Not just disagreed with, but really hated because of their behaviors and what they have done to other people. Then I had some humanity to them, and hope the mix makes a despicable, realistic character.

Caren Rich

Yes, I just did for NaNoWriMo. He’s such a detestable character that I wrote two endings to the novel. This character is murdered early on in the book, the rest of the book you find out how awful he really was. In one ending the killer is caught by authorities and in the other the killer gets away with it. He really deserved to die! Mystery readers can be very particular about how a book ends, but I really like the second ending.

Paul B. Spence

I don’t find all of my antagonists to be loathsome, but there’s bad, and then there’s evil, and most of the bad guys in my books are really, really evil.

The big bads in my stories are like Hitler and Stalin if they’d been given unlimited power and access to infinite worlds. They are literally older than time itself, at least in our galaxy, and HATE on a level that humans can’t even comprehend. So, yes, I hate them. Anybody who doesn’t, I would seriously worry about.

Gregory S. Close

I really hope so.  There are a couple of villains that I’ve written that are pretty twisted and sick, and if I liked them I’d be worried about myself.  Also, there are a few protagonists that are right on the line, sometimes!

D. T. Nova

Intentionally so, but I wound up disliking him so much that I’ve put more emphasis on another antagonist’s dislike of him than I had in mind at the start.

Jay Dee Archer

There’s one I’ve created that I would find a horrible person if he really existed. I don’t see much in the way of good in him, but he believes he’s doing the right thing. He’s a jerk, prejudiced, and won’t hesitate to kill to get what he wants. I do have another character I wouldn’t like, but her future is a lot more positive, eventually.

How about you?

If you are a writer, have you created a character you hate? If you are a reader, is there a character you hate? Let us know in the comments below.

Authors Answer 57 – Stop Asking Me That Question!

Authors are asked a lot of questions. They may have interviews, they may talk at conventions or book signings, or they may talk with friends and family. Well, sometimes, we get questions we keep hearing over and over again, or are too complex to answer briefly.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 57 – What is one question you hate answering about your writing that acquaintances ask you?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

There are just SO MANY questions that people ask that make writers writhe with rage. I could probably make one hell of a list if given the time. That said, I can honestly say that the one question that enrages me the most is the one people inevitably ask when they find out I have a written, published book: “Is it, like, in book stores?”

I always bite my tongue and try to answer as politely and honestly as possible, but this question makes me so mad every time I hear it because it implies that the act of writing, editing, revising, cover-designing, formatting, and self-editing is somehow less because you can’t find the book at your local Coles or Barnes and Noble. Never mind the fact that you can purchase it on literally any version of Amazon, hard copy or e-book…if it’s not on a shelf in a physical store people don’t think of it as being a “real” book, in the same way that lots of people don’t consider a self-published book to be a “real” book (i.e. “If it was really any good, a real publisher would have taken it.”) And that can be an extremely frustrating conversation to have because writer’s have a hard enough time convincing people that writing is “real” work to begin with.

Jean Davis

Why does it take you so long to finish a novel if you can write it in 30 days? Really? You want to read the crap I write during NaNoWriMo? That’s the roughest of drafts. No one wants to read that. No one.

S. R. Carrillo

“How did you get published?” Because, to anyone who isn’t a writer, the fact that I self-published it usually met with an unenthusiastic “Oh, okay. That’s pretty neat.” -_-

Elizabeth Rhodes

“What’s your book about?”  Not that it isn’t a valid question, and I’m glad people take enough of an interest to ask.  But I’m terrible at summarizing things on the spot.  I want to include every character interaction and motivation as I’m relating the plot, and next thing you know my “elevator pitch” is taking five minutes.  There’s also part of me that is still afraid of being judged, whether it’s “what, you can’t even tell me what it’s about?” or “why would you write about that?  Weirdo.

Eric Wood

So far I haven’t had to field any questions about my writing. I just write and people just read. They leave/make comments when they feel inspired to. Having not yet been published, my audience is rather small (but important).

H. Anthe Davis

I don’t really have a problem with any questions, though ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ is a bit annoying.  But I enjoy talking about my worldbuilding and writing process probably more than people appreciate hearing about it, so I immediately override any obnoxious question with my obsessively detailed answer.  Take that, person who dared be interested in my work!  Seriously though, I can’t think of any questions I’d consider ‘bad’ unless someone was purposefully trying to be offensive.

Allen Tiffany

Honestly, I don’t bring my writing up with very many people. In fact, it’s a closely guarded secret from my co-workers. It is not that I’m embarrassed about it. Rather, it would be an unneeded distraction in my workplace. As to family and friends…I’m pretty private about it. When I publish I let them know. Other than that, not sure there is much to talk about. If I need feedback and discussion about theory and technique, it is via the online workshop, CritiqueCircle.

Caren Rich

Until recently, I was a closet writer. I didn’t tell acquaintances that I was a writer. My close friends and family knew, but that’s it. So I have no funny answers to share!

Paul B. Spence

I hate to answer THIS question the way everyone does, but honestly, one of the worst has to be “Where do you come up with your ideas?” Most people don’t like it when I answer, “In the shower.” Or, if you want the Scott Pilgrim answer, “From my brain!”

Gregory S. Close

It’s always frustrating to answer the very innocent question of “how’s the book going?” if it’s not going so well.  When things are moving along, the questioning and curiosity is less awkward because I feel like things are working and I know what I’m doing.  When things aren’t going so well, the question feels like an indictment and I want to hide in a cave.

The other one that’s hard is the “when will the book be done?” question.  For most of the writing process, I have no idea when it will be done, because the story and characters are evolving around me as I write, and the plot is adapting to those new realities as well.  It’s sort of like Monty Python’s Sir Lancelot running toward the castle, over and over again, almost there, then back to the beginning, then almost there, then back, then – suddenly there’s a flashing sword and it’s all over, and I’m standing there confused saying “hey!”

Either way, the problem is really with me and not the person asking the question.  It’s my insecurities that make the answer difficult. The questions themselves are pretty innocent.

D. T. Nova

“What’s it about?”

I am terrible at summarizing, especially when I have to do it quickly.

Jay Dee Archer

I don’t really get many questions about my writing from friends and family, but the one question I find difficult to answer is “What’s your book about?” I think that’s pretty common, actually. It’s too difficult to describe a book briefly without it sounding kind of silly. I’m always worried they’ll ask more questions, like “Why are you writing about that?” or “Do you think it’ll be a bestseller?” Those are also difficult to answer.

How about you?

If you’re an author, what question do you hate to be asked? If you’re not an author, but a reader, what questions do you like to ask authors?

Ask the Readers – Do You Hate a Book?

Last month, I asked for you to ask some questions that we can ask the readers. Here is the third question, although a little late. Again, it’s from Solveig. First, I’ll answer the question, then it’s your turn.

Is there a book you hate? Why?

I don’t think I’ve ever hated a book. I’ve been lucky to never have read one that I couldn’t finish. There are some I felt somewhat indifferent to, but nothing I hated. So, I personally can’t answer this question.

How about you?

Maybe some readers have an answer to this question. What’s a book you hated and why? I’m interested in seeing the answers, if there are any hated books. I’m sure there are some, but I think people usually avoid reading books that don’t seem interesting. So, it’s your turn! Leave your answer in the comments below.

I’m Unimpressed, Indiana

With all the news about the Indianapolis state government passing a law that is “not about discrimination,” it sure sounds like it enables business owners to discriminate against the LGBT community.

It’s been said that Indiana’s not the only state, that there are several others have similar laws.  That is true.  But Indiana’s case is happening right now, and it’s important to talk about this.  The other states will be looked at as a result of this discussion.

But you may ask me why I care.  I’m Canadian, I don’t live in the US.  Well, I have friends in the US, including some in Indiana and other states that have these laws.  They have friends who could be affected.  And these days, it’s become internationally known that the US is a hotbed for bigotry, especially with the way the Republican party (particularly the old tea party group) has been going out of their way to discriminate against gay people (not to mention pretend that climate change isn’t happening, but that’s another story).  The US has been having race problems a lot, too.

I’m not an overly emotional person, but I have this to say:  Grow up, you morons! Why can’t you just learn to get along and let others live how they like?  Why do you have to push your religious and political agendas down everyone’s throats, as if gay marriage is a threat to your own way of life.  It is not a threat!  Only bigots think this way.  I mean it.  If you think that gay marriage threatens your own personal way of life, you have no intelligence whatsoever.  I dare you to try to give a rational explanation that justifies discriminating against people different than you.  Go ahead, do it.  I bet you can’t.  If you want to try, the comments below await you.

For everyone else who is levelheaded, has compassion, and accepts people for how they are, I’d also like your input.

Authors Answer 10 – Least Favourite Genres

Last week, we had the favourite genres of authors.  This time, we look at the other side, the least favourite.  Of course, authors usually love to read, but that doesn’t mean they read everything.  It’s very useful to read a wide variety of genres, but what would our authors stay away from?  Let’s find out.  Below is the cover of a book that was voted most hated according to several polls.

twilightQuestion 10: What are your least favourite genres to read?

H. Anthe Davis

I’ve never purposefully read a western.  They don’t appeal to me.  I also avoid most types of romance — modern, historical, suspense, and even paranormal despite the fact that it often crosses over with Urban Fantasy.  (I’m not a big fan of Urban Fantasy either.)   I’m just not interested in stories based on the forging of a romantic relationship.  That being said, I’ve read some good books that were fantasy-romance and one that was a superhero-romance!  I just need the balance to tip more toward the fantasy- or superhero-side than the romance side.

Paul B. Spence

Everything other than science fiction, thrillers, and fantasy.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Chick lit is definitely right at the top of the list. Sorry ladies, but even though I’m one of you, I just don’t get you. Most of the kinds of things that chick lit stories tend to be about make me gag and pray for the female gender to both lighten up and learn to not take themselves so seriously.

Amy Morris-Jones

I’m not much of a sci-fi fan—although the speculative fiction isn’t bad. It’s the crazy stuff with aliens or weird creatures that I have a hard time wrapping my brain around. I admire those who have the creativity to write it, but I appreciate it only from a safe distance.

D. T. Nova

Is “kids get lost in the wild and/or live miles away from anyone else” considered a genre? I sure had to read enough of it in school for it to seem like one, and possibly because of having it forced on me, I really dislike it now. (Though it can’t be entirely because of that, because I did like the majority of the assigned books that didn’t fall into that category.)

(Seriously, who picks the stuff that’s required reading in school? For me it was 25% classics, 5% popular children’s literature, and 70% crap about kids in the woods.)

S. R. Carrillo

Strictly romance novels put me to sleep. I can’t stop myself from ever wanting to shake my two protagonists and screaming in their faces, “GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER AND HAVE SEX AND BE HAPPY TOGETHER ALREADY.” But, by the same token, stories with no romance whatsoever, of any genre, also bore me, unless it’s to do with a protagonist who is asexual/aromantic. Otherwise, I feel like I’m being slighted a side of a character I wanna know better.

Jean Davis

Crime and Steampunk. I’ve tried to like both. Really, I have. It would seem that because I enjoy writing dark and violent characters that I should enjoy novels that get inside the heads of those sort of people, but I just can’t seem to get into the books. Same with Steampunk. I like historical and I like sci-fi, but this particular blending hasn’t grabbed my interest enough to get me past chapter three of a book yet.

Caren Rich

Romance and horror.  I don’t even have to think about this.  I have read romance, but I’ve out grown it.  I have “accidentally” read a few recent romances, but there was more to it than just a love story.  I don’t read horror because I don’t like to be scared.  My brain makes it so much worse.

Linda G. Hill

Westerns. Cowboys and Indians always feel slightly dusty and leave me wanting to drink… and not water.

Elizabeth Rhodes

My least favorite genre is romance.  There’s no real reason for it, but romance just doesn’t do it for me.  I’m also unlikely to read comedy.  Keeping in mind the previous week’s question, perhaps I just take literature too seriously.

Jay Dee Archer

Romance is my least favourite.  I won’t touch it.  It’s not written for my demographic, anyway.  I don’t particularly like novels written for teens that are filled with angst, like a certain sparkly vampire series, either.

How about you?

Is there a genre that you just won’t touch?  Let us know in the comments below.

I Hate Tomatoes

I really, really hate tomatoes.  “Why?” everyone asks me.  It’s strange.  They can’t seem to fathom why I hate tomatoes.  Something in the taste triggers a gag reflex and a desire to throw up.

Horrible, horrible tomatoes.  Credit goes to from Wikipedia.
Horrible, horrible tomatoes. Credit goes to InterestingPics from Wikipedia.

I found this blog post that goes into the subject in depth.  It appears it may be genetic.  Some people are extremely sensitive to a chemical in tomatoes that goes away when they’re cooked.  However, it’s not that simple.  Not only do I hate raw tomatoes, but I can’t stand cooked tomatoes, either.  Anything that has a purely tomato flavour is instantly disgusting to me.  I find it hard not to gag.  This includes tomato soup, tomato juice, meat sauce on pasta, pizza sauce, and any kind of diced, stewed, chopped, boiled, whatever tomato.

But I like Ketchup.  And I like barbecue sauce.  And HP Sauce.  And A1 Sauce.  But that’s it.  I can tolerate beef stew with some tomato paste, but that’s because the flavour doesn’t stand out.  Baked beans are okay, too, although they contain tomato paste.

I know I’m not unusual.  This is actually quite common.  There are other foods that are extremely polarised, such as cilantro, green peppers, and the infamous Marmite.

Any other tomato haters out there?